(Jelly) bean there, done that.
Since she was little, Catherine has loved having two visits from the Easter Bunny, even if she didn’t fully grasp the meaning of the season at first.
One spring Sunday in church when she was little, Father was discussing Lent. I leaned down to whisper in Catherine’s ear, asking if she knew what Lent was and she dutifully replied: “The stuff in the dryer.”
Her understanding has grown considerably since then.
Still, I love to remember waiting until after she’d gone to bed to “hide” plastic eggs all around the house, then watching her toddle around in her diaper-padded pink or purple sleeper the next morning — bed head and all — trying to find them.
And yes, I let her have some candy with her breakfast.
Catherine is too old for an egg hunt now, and after the sugar overload of this past week’s Sweet 16 celebration(s), more candy seems way too over the top, so her baskets have some non-edible goodies. (I’m not giving away the surprises here.)
The sweet traditions bring back my own youth, when Easter meant a night of dyeing eggs (and a week of eating egg salad!); new outfit (and hat!); a fresh pair of mary janes to scuff the bottoms of in the driveway; a “summer” purse and white gloves to wear to church.
My Mimi organized an annual egg hunt for all the cousins. We each got an egg carton and were sent out in the yard of her little Hawthorne, NY, bungalow to search high and low for plastic eggs filled with candy and coins. Then it was back into the house to count up our booty before tucking into a big meal.
Hours before, my sister and I would start the day with baskets brimming with goodies — candy, toys, costume jewelry.
I especially remember the year in junior high when the basket contained a first batch of more grown-up gifts: a big fat watermelon-flavored Lip Smacker lip gloss, mascara(!) and my first nylons – L’Eggs back when they were packaged in an egg!
Of course, I managed to snag the hose while putting them on and had to wear them to church with big blobs of clear nail polish affixed to the run’s ends.
And while it’s fun and easy to get wrapped up in the gifts and new clothes, sugary treats, and family time, I mostly revel in Easter’s promise of hope: Here we have a fresh, clean slate; time to start anew.
Yesterday, we enjoyed an early Easter celebration with my parents. Today we’ll celebrate Palm Sunday at Basil’s church and then a family celebration with good friends (who are Jewish!).
Next weekend, we’ll go to the midnight Easter service at Stamford, CT’s, Church of the Archangels. One candle at a time, we’ll light the sanctuary, pushing out the darkness and welcoming yet another season of rebirth.